Francis Xavier

XAVIER, Francis. b. Xavier, Navarre, Spain, 7 April 1506; d. Shang Chuan, near China, 3 December 1552. He was born Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta in a new castle (‘Xavier’ in the Basque language) belonging to his aristocratic family in the kingdom of Navarre: the kingdom was invaded and divided during his youth, and the castle was reduced in size by the order of Cardinal Cisneros (see ‘Spanish hymnody’*). He was educated at the Collège Sainte Barbe in Paris (1525- ), where he met Ignatius Loyola: with Loyola and five others the Society of Jesus was founded in 1534. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1537, working in Italy for a short time, before being sent in 1541 by King John III of...

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